Science and Technology

Researchers discover direct link between height and longevity

Results show that the way we live directly affects the length of our body and the length of our lives

Researchers at the University of Southampton, UK, found a clear and direct relationship between height and longevity.

Results show that the way we live directly affects the length of our body and the length of our lives.

The survey found that 200 years ago there were substantial differences in height between the working class people and upper class. In 1780, the average height of a 14 year old working class was 1.3 meters, while an upper-class child was "significantly higher", 1.55.

Today, however, as health services, nutrition, sanitation and education became universal, the children of the upper class have continued to grow and be taller, but at a slower rate than children of the working class. The difference between adults of the upper class and working class has decreased to less than 0.06 m.

"The goal is to describe, analyze and explain the changes in height and health in different countries over time. However, we also emphasize the ways in which changes can affect the patterns of human development in the future, said one of the authors Bernard Harris.

"Our work shows that there were dramatic changes in children's health (as reflected in adult height reached) over the past 100 years, and other researchers have highlighted the existence of close links between the improvements in child health and health in adulthood. These changes have profound implications for the evolution of future health, longevity and economic performance in the next century, Harris noted.

The researchers said the investments in the health of children today can play a key role in determining the economic welfare of future generations. "

The regional variation also plays a role. Two centuries ago, people in Scotland were 2.3 cm taller than those living in southern England, while the Norwegians were the highest among European nations. Today, the Scot, with an average of 1.73 m for an adult male, are lower than those living in southeast England with 1.75 m, while the Norwegians are the nation's second highest in Europe, surpassed only by the Dutch.

"The improvements in diet and sanitation in the Southeast has surpassed the improvements in Scotland, reflecting the general pattern of social and economic change over the past 200 years," Harris said.